You can make $1000 a week and more from DoorDash. Yes, you really can! Even if it doesn’t seem glamorous or particularly lucrative when you think about driving for DoorDash, you’d be surprised how your savvy and strategy can fuel astounding success.
That’s what this blog post is all about. After reading it, you’ll know why DoorDash is so popular with drivers, restaurants, stores, and the customers they serve. We’ll take you through some proposed plans for being successful as a Dasher. We’ll cover these topics:
- Treat driving like a business
- Strategize: Drive and deliver like you mean it
- Hints that get you tips
- More cash flow, no sweat
Treat driving like a business
Many drivers begin to deliver as a way to make extra cash, or in an emergency, such as when they lose another job or have to deal with unexpected expenses. For that reason, it’s easy to slip into a casual attitude with a delivery driving gig. You deliver, money comes into your account once a week, and that’s that.
You can take that approach, but if you do, you may face some nasty consequences down the line. Remember, as an independent contractor you’re responsible for tracking your earnings, paying your taxes, and accounting for expenses you can use as tax deductions. That’s why it’s so important to treat your delivery driving business as exactly that… a business.
And, if you want your business to bring in $1000 a week, you’ll need to be smart about how you organize and take care of that business. Here’s a list of things you’ll need to do, and some ideas about how to get them done.
Get smart about self-employment.
Again, as an independent contractor, you are responsible for all your own business- and tax-related expenses, activities, and record keeping. One of your first steps is deciding how you want to organize your business. It’s always a good idea to have a separate bank account for your gig driving work, in order to keep your earnings and expenses free and clear of your personal financial dealings.
To start that bank account, you need to have a “business identity” of some kind. You could just use your name, but it’s more professional (and in some cases, smarter) to use a DBA (Doing Business As) identity, create a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), or establish a full-blown corporation.
The DBA lets you have a name for your business, but little else. If you want to limit your liability, either the LLC or corporation is your best option. You can research this yourself, or speak to a professional (typically a CPA or an attorney) to see what would work best for you.
Here’s an article that offers a step-by-step checklist for how to incorporate your business in any state. Then there’s this article from CareerOneStop, which is another good reference for tackling the issues related to self-employment.
Survey the business landscape.
Delivering for DoorDash is pretty uncomplicated, but there are ways for you to be more effective at making money. Your first step is to figure out when the most deliveries are needed, and what time of day the payment for deliveries is the highest.
With food delivery, rely on your common sense. Obviously, certain times are prime for meals and we all know what they are. But what’s different about your territory? Are there colleges and universities, or other clusters where people might need meals delivered on another schedule?
What about hospitals, offices, and public events? Now that the world is beginning to wake up from the COVID-19 nightmare, it’s even possible there could be orders for meetings and recruiting events again. Know where your potential customers are, drive around those areas, and you’ll get many more calls.
Another thing to know is that DoorDash has expanded its offerings beyond prepared food. What is delivered and from which stores will depend on where you’re located. Dashers get involved with grocery delivery through Walmart, and many also deliver items from convenience stores like 7-Eleven.
A good way to see what DoorDash has to offer in your area is to download the customer side of the app and check it out. Then, check the driver side to see what it takes to become eligible for all the different kinds of delivery. We’ll cover more about that in a bit.
Curb your appetite – and your costs.
Delivering food has a nefarious side effect, of which you’re undoubtedly aware if you’ve delivered a pizza with your favorite toppings or onion rings and wings right when your own hunger alarm is going off. The smell of food makes us hungrier than we already are, and when you deliver, those gastronomically appealing aromas are a bonafide occupational hazard.
How do you avoid turning off your app, driving to the nearest pizza place, and plunking down lots of cash for a few slices, a drink, and possibly a meatball hero? Eat a good, healthy meal before you head out, and bring your own snacks and drinks. Use Gridwise to track your expenses, and you can watch those extra costs go down when you bring your own food from home.
Keep your eye on your income.
If you’re still feeling your way around the world of being a Dasher, tracking your income is an invaluable way to see how much you’re making, where it’s coming from, and what times have been the most popular. Use Gridwise to do this, and keep an eye on your expenses, too.
There are two ways of determining deductions for your driving expenses. Use the standard deduction method if you log a lot of miles in your delivery runs. If you’re operating within a tighter radius, you’ll be better off deducting all vehicle-related expenses, from car detailing to parking costs to fuel.
If you need more information about how to make a call like this one for your taxes, check out the 2021 rideshare and delivery driver tax deduction guide from Gridwise. Always log on to the app at the beginning of every shift to make every mile count.
Take this to the bank: Being serious about your gig driving business will play a huge role in getting you to that $1000 a month with DoorDash.
Strategize: Drive and deliver like you mean it
In case you haven’t noticed, delivering for DoorDash is a lot like a game. You have to be alert, stay on top of what you’re doing, think ahead, and act fast. In any game, you’ll have a far greater likelihood of winning if you have a strategy – and DoorDash is no exception. So let’s look at some tactics that will keep your score high … let’s say, around $1000 a week.
Set realistic hours.
What is your life like beyond delivery driving? Are there specific times when you have to be around for a child, a spouse, or an older relative? Do you have another job that requires you to be in a certain place at given times?
How well do these times sync with the times you’ve identified as your available delivery slots? If your availability won’t don’t work around peak food delivery moments in the day, you’ll need to get creative.
The good thing is, people don’t always order at typical mealtimes. If you do a little research, you’re likely to find an after-school peak, or maybe a baseball or soccer team that’s got a hankering for food and some cool drinks. Also, there are certain places that have odd lunch hours, such as nursing homes and hospitals. Check into what’s going on in your neighborhood. Drive around with the app on in different areas and see what comes up. You could get some interesting info by looking at the DoorDash action from the customer side, too. If the app says it will take a long time to get a delivery from where you’re sitting, you could be in a hot spot.
And of course, your Dasher app will tell you when there are bonus zones. Most of the time, these are good places to “fish” for people who are ready for a fried cod sandwich or a fresh lobster roll. In this Gridwise post, you can read more about incentives and what they’re like now that the companies are trying to lure in more drivers.
Put your seat behind the wheel.
To make $1000 a week driving for DoorDash, you must have a consistent presence. It’s like that in any game, right? If you don’t put in the effort, you won’t get the returns. Once you figure out the best times for you to drive, create a schedule that will give you a minimum of three to four hours a day of driving. Then, you’ll be well on your way to meeting that golden goal.
You’ll want to be strict about keeping those hours, especially if a rainy night or an extra-hot afternoon makes you wish you could stay inside rather than driving. Keep in mind that, when people don’t feel like leaving home, they’re probably more likely to call in for deliveries. That means more money for you. Tips will be more generous when they know you’re coming in a downpour or snowstorm, too.
Know your surroundings
We’ve covered how you need to be aware of what’s around you and where the best deliveries might be, but there’s more. You’ll also need to learn about traffic issues, construction delays, and how to get around crowds at huge events – provided you know where and when they take place.
That’s where Gridwise comes in yet again. You can check events and traffic, and often get alerts when matters of importance are underway or about to happen. Here’s what all this looks like in the app:
Be ready to pivot.
You’ll earn $1000 per week with DoorDash when you learn how to shift with changing circumstances. You might be apt to postpone a boozy get-together with your buds on a Sunday if there’s a big game on. Lots of those sports fans might want to have their wings and fries delivered … by you.
When you put your schedule together, be mindful of conditions that are bad for business. Holidays when people cook a lot, or weekends when they’re likely to be out of town, might create gaps in your earning schedule. Be prepared to work extra hours before and after these periods to keep that $1000 a week coming in.
Know what you deliver best.
Driving a delivery gig can take a variety of forms. If you work in an urban area, be ready to do a lot of parallel parking. Not for you? See about doing a bike or scooter gig as a Dasher. Or, hit the burbs. While orders might not be as plentiful there, they are often larger and more lucrative. Also, pulling into a wide-open parking lot is much easier than squeezing your ride between a Mercedes and a pickup truck in a sketchy part of town.
Be your own best life coach.
Setting goals and sticking to them is essential, particularly if you really want to make $1000 a week with Doordash. There’s going to have to be a plan, and if you stick to many of the guidelines we already offered you, it should be fairly easy to make one.
This is stating the obvious, but … in order to earn $1000 a week, you’ll have to make a certain amount each day. If you only want to work five days a week, then your daily goal is $250 a day. There will be days and nights when this is easy, and others when it isn’t.
Even on bad days, though, you’ll want to know how to work the gig so you maximize what’s coming in.
Hints that get you tips
Customers know they should tip you, but they aren’t obligated to do so. Also, they might automatically tip 15 percent, but if you want more, you’ll have to deliver a few extras. The #1 thing customers want is for you to follow directions. If it’s a no-contact delivery, don’t wait to hand them the order. If they ask for extra ranch dressing, get it at the restaurant.
Being on time is big with customers too. When you think there’s going to be a delay, communicate. Traffic, either in the restaurant’s queue or on the road, can slow you down, but when you let customers know what to expect, politely and honestly, they’ll appreciate it.
Remember, with DoorDash, customers can tip when they place their orders and also after you drop their orders off. That means a professional and friendly attitude, timeliness, and little extras (no spills or drips, a stack of napkins, and a few more condiments than they might expect), could all prompt customers to tip more.
Your tips are an important part of your earnings, and it’s good to keep track of them. Gridwise makes that pretty simple. Just sync your DoorDash app and your earnings, tips, and mileage will automatically and seamlessly be recorded. Then, Gridwise will take the information and create easy-to-read graphs like these:
With all that, will you still be able to make $1000 a week with DoorDash? We think so, and here’s why.
More cash flow, no sweat
If you still think it’s unrealistic to make $1000 a week driving for DoorDash, you need to know about the referral plan for drivers. Every driver gets a referral code, which is included in your app under “refer friends.”
It works just the way it sounds. You give your friends your referral code, and when they sign up to be a Dasher, you get paid. If you want to expand this way of making money, you can include your code in all kinds of places. You never know when someone you haven’t heard from in a while is ready to take the big step and become a Dasher.
With the driver shortage going on in 2021, all the companies are handing out big bonuses for referrals, to both the current driver and the newbs. Get busy posting your code, so as many people as possible get in on the act:
- Drop your link in some of your favorite group texts.
- Print cards with your link on them, and leave them on bulletin boards in restaurants and stores.
- Shout out about making $1000 a week with DoorDash on your social media, and drop your code there.
- Video yourself in the act of delivering for DoorDash, post it on social media and let people know how easily they, too, can make that much money … if they just click the link to your code.
- Anytime you make any of these pitches, remind friends and social media contacts that even if they’re not interested, it’s quite possible they have a friend who’ll thank them for passing along your referral code.
Remember, every time a new driver signs up using your link, you make money, and right now … lots of it. If you do this right, it will be even easier to make $1000 a week with DoorDash.
Make $1000 a week with DoorDash, and let Gridwise help!
No one can guarantee you’ll make $1000 a week with DoorDash, but we definitely want you to know we believe in you! We also know how much Gridwise can help. Whether you use the app to track your earnings and expenses, or check in to see what’s going on in your town, you’ll have the ultimate rideshare and delivery driver assistant in your corner.
On top of all that, there’s news for drivers on the Gridwise Blog and the always entertaining YouTube Channel. On our Facebook page, you’ll find great gas card giveaways and a fantastic community of drivers just like you, waiting to hear how it is that you have managed to make $1000 a week with DoorDash – and Gridwise. So go on… download the Gridwise app now!